Yesterday my lovely friend Kerry (from Saving My Sanity) and I were discussing Hunting Ground (Patricia Briggs), which both of us have recently finished reading. We both came to the conclusion that it was an enjoyable read, but...something was missing...or, as Kerry put it, Hunting Ground didn't enthrall as much as Alpha & Omega or Cry Wolf. So, we tried, via email, to put our finger on what that elusive 'something' was....and this is the result. Please note that there are spoilers for Hunting Ground included in this post.
orannia: For me, Anna & Charles' relationship was at the forefront in Alpha & Omega and Cry Wolf. Yes, there was action, but it was their developing relationship that drove the story in both books IMO. However, in Hunting Ground it wasn't Anna & Charles' relationship at the forefront, it was the discussion and potential consequences surrounding the werewolves (OK, the Marrok's) decision to 'come out' (so to speak) *grin* Yes, parts of their relationship were discussed, but for me it wasn't enough. Does my 'but' (as in, 'I liked it, but...') made sense?
Kerry: I think for me it is also that the werewolves 'coming out' could have been a big story, but by making it about bat-sh*t crazy Arthur in the end instead, it turned it into a small story. It was well plotted and interesting, but it didn't feel all that important in the overall scheme of things. I was okay with the Charles and Anna relationship. What was there was very understated, but it showed that Charles knew Anna and knew how to be a good Alpha male. He's similar to Daemon and Lucivar to me in that way - he (along with Brother Wolf) understands that the way to protect is to let your mate spread her wings and be strong, not to smother and belittle in the name of "protection". I really liked that. And that they did their best to communicate when they needed to do so. That's what I absolutely adore about Jaenelle and Daemon - they TALK to each other and solve their problems. Sometimes talking is enough, sometimes it isn't, but they don't have stupid misunderstandings. I don't think Anna and Charles will have all that many misunderstanding either. So for me, the problem was that is was a 'small' story, although I can't define that in a way that necessarily explains what I mean by that.
orannia: Because I just love quotes, I had to throw this quote in to support Kerry's point, which I think is an excellent one :)
'If it would benefit you, I would kill every wolf here. But there are things that you need to do - and interfering with that is not protecting, not in my book. The best way for me to protect you is to encourage you to be able to protect yourself.'orannia: And once Kerry made that (very good) point I saw where she was going...and realised that while little was made of the 'discussion' over 'coming out', because as was stated in the book it was just a discussion, the European wolves really didn't seem to have a problem 'coming out', and I kept expecting them too....at least one of them.
Don't get us wrong, we both loved the book and will be eagerly awaiting the sequel. It's just fun dissecting a book *grin* So, have you read Hunting Ground and, if so, what did you think? Was it missing something?